For inspiration, or to pass the time on your next flight, we’ve put together a short list of movies that capture that feeling of experiencing a unique destination. Like our Reading List, these movies are not strictly about travel, but rather, about what it means to be a human on this planet. Let them excite you until your next adventure.
Chungking Express, Hong Kong
Wong Kar-wai’s Chungking Express is a vivid look at life in 90s Hong Kong for two lovesick cops. Blending crime, comedy, romance, and drama genres in two stories told simultaneously, the film is an affectionate ode to the human condition. At once stirring, experimental, and relatable. The film features masterful performances by Faye Wong, a mysterious pixie waitress, and the much beloved Tony Leung. The charm and unexpected characters, coupled with Wong Kar-wai’s signature visual style, cemented him into cult film history.
There’s perhaps nothing more charming than a small polite bear lost in London. Paddington first appeared on the shelves of children’s literature in October 1958. Still, the story of a bear finding its place in a new city, community, and found family has never been more relevant. Notting Hill shines as the movie’s central location with its brightly coloured houses and whimsical tone. As a bonus, Paddington 2 continues with enchanting scenes along the famed Portobello Road Market.
the great beauty, rome
A reflection on what we hold stock in life, The Great Beauty’s main protagonist looks past Rome’s lavish parties and nightclubs for the first time in decades to appreciate the withstanding grandeur of Italy’s capital city. A breathtaking story of loss, love, and opulence features a lush score and an award-winning performance by Toni Servillo. The film’s rich visual quality and saturation convey the romance of life and the Italian sun in the eternal city.
nick and norah’s infinite playlist, new york city
Capturing the chaos of a memorable night out, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist takes you on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City. Based on the book by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, the film relays the feeling of running amuck with friends on a night out where anything could happen. Punctuated by laughter, frenzy, and that familiar post-adolescence joie de vivre.
the darjeeling limited, jodhpur
Set on a train voyage through northern India, The Darjeeling Limited is a bright, witty, and poignant film that showcases some of Wes Anderson’s best work. One year after the death of their father, three brothers find themselves on a journey of self- and familial discovery. As always, Anderson’s eccentric cast delivers a pitch-perfect performance filled with levity and heart. ■